COVID effect: Govt slashes 2021-22 sports budget by Rs 230.78 cr

New Delhi, Feb 2 (Agency) The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic was seen on the national sports budget as the Central government on Monday allocated Rs 2,596.14 crore for the financial year 2021-22, a reduction of Rs 230.78 crore when compared to the amount allocated in the previous year. In the last financial year, the government had allocated Rs 2826.92 crore for sports, which was later revised to Rs 1800.15 crore because of the lack of sports activity caused by the pandemic. This year’s allocated amount is Rs 795.99 crore more than the revised budget of 2020-21.

The Sports Ministry’s flagship Khelo India has been allocated Rs 660.41 crore, which is a huge reduction from Rs 890.42 crore allocated in the 2020-21 budget. Meanwhile, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has been allocated Rs 660.41 crore, which is an increase from the Rs 500 crore that was allocated in the last budget. The allocation towards National Sports Federations (NSFs) was also hiked by Rs 35 crore. This year’s budget is Rs 280 crore while last year’s was Rs 245 crore. As far as incentives for sportspersons are concerned, the budget has proposed to further slash the amount from Rs 70 crore to Rs 53 crore. The budget for National Sports Development Fund has also been halved to Rs 25 crore. The budget allocated for renovation and maintenance of 2010 Commonwealth Games stadia has been reduced by Rs 66 crore to Rs 30 crore for the next financial year.